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From the description in Rick Prelinger's Field Guide to Sponsored Films:
Popular scientific film directed by Frank Capra that launched the Bell System Science series. Combining animation and live action, Our Mr. Sun uses a scientist-writer team to present information about the sun and its importance to humankind. NOTE: Produced in Technicolor, the film was originally telecast in 1956 and 1957 to 9 million homes; some 600 16mm prints were distributed to schools and community organizations through the Bell Telephone System film libraries.
To license this film and get a higher quality version for broadcast/film purposes, contact A/V Geeks LLC.
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: A wonderfully dated animation from the jazz era of Bell Labs
I personally remember these old films as magic from my misspent youth as a kindergärtner. I thought Eddie Arnold was hokey then as I do today. He needs Zsa Zsa to keep him in check. Father Time as a 'railroad earth hobo' kinda worked for me. It comes from a simpler time in our American history & more of the modern lifeforms might not 'grok' the reference and, therefore, regard him as a square or in modern tongue: 'a douche'. The Sun is portrayed as a Leo personality which is totally realistic. I dig the Sun's jazzy phraseology, daddy-o. This is a very warm (npi) science flick aimed towards an audience of youth, hepsters, & the general populus of the 1950's. I give it five novas.
Subject: Barrymore lends his voice to Father Time.
While the film is over 50 years old, most of the information is still very relevant and accurate. The cartoon features about thermonuclear reactions, chlorophyll production, and silicon-solar-cell derived electricity are excellent review for anyone young or old. It gets preachy at the end, but in 1950s Cold-War America, many attempts were made to show that one big difference between us and the Soviet Union was our religious beliefs and their lack of religion. It was during this time in US History that the words "Under God" were added to the Pledge of Allegiance. So I understand the quote from Psalms and the admonition of the Scientist to pray as part of the political climate of the time. An excellent film, worth watching over and over.
Previously, I had thought that the man playing opposite Albert was Barrymore. I was wrong. Barrymore did the voice for Father Time.
Subject: My earliest memories....
I remember this film being shown at school when I was seven or eight years old. I loved this "scientist", as we called them back then, and it was as interesting and informative now,as then. I watched this man in many of these informative Bell productions and he is the source of many and much of my early learning of science and I always loved each and every one of them. I thank the archive and the sources of all of these wonderful memories of our film heritage. Wonderful!!!
Subject: A dimmer sun this time.
The magical aura that has surrounded my memory of this film for half a century didn't survive a second viewing. Eddie Albert is as corny as ever, Frank Baxter is drolly charming, also as usual; but neither are to blame for the way the film drags along. The dreadful animation is responsible for that. This was the era in which Hanna, Barbera, and other post modernists eschewed the technical and artistic heights to which cartooning had ascended, introducing a childish primitivism that eventually infected the entire industry. Obviously that included the Bell Telephone series. The animated segments are visually repulsive and boring and they drag down the entire production. Add to that the shockingly inappropriate (even for that time) religious promotion of the last five minutes and the result is a vast disappointment. I wish I hadn't seen it again! My memories were far better!
Subject: Thanks, Mr. Sun
It was like walking down memory lane to watch this film, which I may have seen in my grade school science class. I appreciated the religious content toward the end, but I guess it would not be a hit in our general educational climate of seperation of church and state. These films are entertaining and instructive.
Subject: Fantastic Scientific Investigation, Proving the Sun's Awesome Power
Everyone watching this factual account, albeit earlier science, must attest to the awesome power of the sun, and it's changing effects on our meager planet. To this awesome powerhouse, humans are one insignificant effect. Due to the Sun, our planet has frozen and fried. We're just somewhere in the middle at present.
After watching the amazing "Thread Of Life", I was all pumped for this one! But it's very dissapointing! I really liked the scientist guy in "Thread Of Life", he returns, but he's asked to act, which is not a very good idea. He's teamed with Eddie Albert, which somewhat helps, but then again, they're also acting with a giant animated sun, which somewhat brings the interest down.. a lot. Not too sure why this structure doesnt work, but it drags on faaaaaar too long (an hour!) and is quite dull.